Father Of ‘American Taliban’ Discusses Case At USF

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN/AP) – The father of American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh said Wednesday that his son is handling prison well nearly a decade after being captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

Frank Lindh, an attorney who has advocated for his son’s release, told students at the University of San Francisco School of Law on Wednesday that his son, now 30, spends his days studying ancient Islamic texts and is earning a liberal arts degree from the University of Indiana.

Walker Lindh is serving a 20-year sentence in a medium-security federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, for supplying his services to the Taliban and carrying a weapon while doing so. As a result of his actions, Walker Lindh is sometimes referred to as American Taliban.

Lindh’s father spoke as part of an ongoing campaign to clear his son’s name of what he calls government and media smears connecting the younger Lindh to terrorism.

Walker Lindh, who had converted to Islam, joined the Taliban in Afghanistan in the summer of 2001 and was captured late that year.

He pleaded guilty to two felony counts in federal court in Virginia in 2002. His expected release is in May 2013.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • JCB

    He is an American citizen who committed treason. I thought we all knew the punishment for that. He is a traitor and should have the penalty for traitors. he admitted what he did so why are we wasting time and money and this treasonous person. Sorry to his Dad for raising a traitor but that’s the way it is. You do the crime you pay.

  • Macbaldy

    There was no treason in this case. Lindh was already involved in action for the Taliban when the US begin coordinating the Northern Alliance’s clashes against the Taliban. No US ground troops were present until after his capture. Only CIA operatives were in Afghanistan during the time that Lindh was active. US air support including cruise missiles were involved but no ground troops. The combatants were all Afghan until after Lindh’s capture. There are laws against US citizens serving in foreign armed forces. But those are rarely enforced. Rumsfeld and Cheney wanted to cultivate agitation against the Taliban for their agenda, so they made a circus out of Lindh’s prosecutiion. He’s not a saint but he’s not a traitor. He never actually fought against the US.

    • RealityCheck

      Correct he is not a traitor, yet. I guarantee you as soon as he is released from prison he will take action against this country. He is an islamic (lack of capitalization on purpose) militant and given the chance he will betray this country. Then we can try him for treason and put this rabid animal down. Too bad that did not take place in Afghanistan. I hate to be the one to break the news but the terrorists are already here in the US, since no one wants to actually close the borders, and we just have to wait to see what they have in store for us.

      • jon

        There r extremists I agree, but research into Lindh’s case, u will quickly realize he is not an American hating extremist. He was fighting on the Taliban’s side against what was known as the Northern Alliance before US Coalition forces joined with the NA, and traveled to and lived there well before 9-11.

      • RealityCheck

        Jon – I gather you mean that by his fighting in Afghanistan was legitimate? Any US person who takes part in combat operations with groups like the Taliban or Al Qaeda is a problem. I do not care if he traveled to and lived there well before 9-1-1. He has been caught and is being punished. I guess we will see when he is released in another 10 years or so.

      • jon

        hard 2 say whose side was ‘right’ during their conflict, it just so happened the Taliban recruited al-qaida members to bolster their #’s before 9-11, and the N.Alliance didnt. Bin laden executed 9-11, without those in Afghanistan knowing about it. To this day the warlords in Afgan are in fighting for US money and political power. Hard to say who is on ‘our’ side or not

  • MDA

    Lindh was Shanghaied by Chertoff. I agree with jon. It is long past time to set him free. His rights were violated when he was silenced. Did he know too much about the atrocities committed by the US military in the massacre at Masar-e-Sharif? He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. How will he ever shed the media label ‘American Taliban’?

    • RealityCheck

      Atrocities committed by the US military? OMG, are you telling us there is a giant conspiracy at work here? Say it is not true, please! How many civilians did the US and British kill while retaking Europe? A lot more than have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military does a lot better job of keeping collateral damage to a minimum these days, but you cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

  • Zack Debarco

    Listening to his father try to explain away his son’s behavior was so MARIN!!!
    To make the point that the US SHOULD HAVE recruited him due to his language ability etc. is simply dellussional!!! He was fighting for what he believed in!!!!
    Just like Americans do for their cause. He made choices and lost.

  • Douglas Saunders

    He has no right to live…I don’t see him as being human…I have more respect for my dog

  • Douglas Saunders

    He has no right to live…I don’t see him as being human…I have more respect for my dog…stop maqking him out to be someone that was at the wrong place at the wrong time…..he chose this now he must live with it

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